Why have you decided to specialise in ADR? What attracted you to this area of law?
It was a coincidence. I was a transactional lawyer, with some small domestic arbitration and litigation cases, until one day, a client decided to explore the options to recover the prejudice caused by certain State authorities. This was my first investment arbitration case, fifteen years ago. Since then, my main areas of research, teaching and practice are commercial and investment arbitration, and mediation. It is a fascinating area of practice: substance and procedure, domestic and international, positions and interests, cultural factors, extraordinary community. Plus, there are no two identical cases and this means that one has to constantly study, explore, question…
What do you consider as the biggest challenge for the ADR in the future?
Educating the users. Each case is unique and this means that dispute process(es) must be carefully selected. This is not only about exploring interests, but also about having a positive experience – in spite of the underlying dispute -, while saving time and costs.
If you had a time machine, what piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career in ADR?
To be patient. This is a journey, sometimes resembling an endurance race. Learn, observe, test, participate, build relationships in a durable, consistent and genuine manner.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in the field thus far?
Having the opportunity to contribute to the education of the next generation. I always strive to give my best in any circumstance, but I do feel a profound responsibility when I stand before my students. I am very fortunate to be able to hear from former my students and see how successful and respected they are in the community.
Tell us about your interests, hobbies or any out of work activities.
Although, lately, these out of work activities revolve around the youngest members of the family, Thomas, 6, and Olivia, 3, the whole family loves to travel. Exploring new places, new cultures, experimenting new activities and new food, all these are fantastic experiences.